A tricky part about making a commitment to be complaint-free is this: Most of the people in our lives haven’t made the same commitment.
We’ve trained our co-workers that we are available for complaining sessions, so they stop by our office just like old times, pull up a chair, and launch into whatever’s stuck in their craw. And there you are, faced with the decision: You could fall into that old habit with them… or you could try something different.
Here are a couple of suggestions to support your new complaint-free habit:
- Ask the complainer (graciously and compassionately, of course): “What about this situation can you control?” or “What do you think you will do about it?”
- Write down a helpful motto that reminds you not to complain; for instance: Don’t Complain, Make Requests! or a simple Stop Complaining! (see Experiment #2 in this lesson).
- Keep a copy of your motto somewhere handy, like in your wallet or on your office wall. If a co-worker starts complaining, just point to your motto. Let them know you’re enrolled in this learning program and as part of the program, you have this assignment to try out not complaining (so if they could kindly, ahem, not do it in your office, that would be just fine with you.)